Saturday, August 20, 2016

Q&A: Beyond the Trilateral Summit in Azerbaijan!

Question:
On Monday, 08/08/2016 a trilateral summit was held that gathered for the first time presidents of Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The final declaration has mentioned several topics that were discussed, such as the relations between the three countries, the economic cooperation and the North-South corridor, as well as the fight against terrorism, the Syrian crisis, Afghanistan, drug trafficking, extremism, cross-border crime, illegal arms trafficking, human trafficking, etc …, all this in one day! Is this for media propaganda or is there a theme that was focused upon and the rest are just frills? Moreover, Iran and Azerbaijan follow the US policy, does this mean America has a role in this meeting? if so what is its goal in that?

Answer:
Yes, it is not reasonable to focus on all this broad spectrum of topics in a session or two, and in a day or part of a day! But it seems that the economic issue is the goal of this summit, and in particular the establishment of the economic corridor (North-South transportation corridor) … and that America has the fundamental role in it, to distance Russia from China, and to economically exhaust it by occupying it in this corridor that extends from Russia to Azerbaijan, Iran, and the Gulf … To clarify this, we will present the following matters:
First: The other issues that were mentioned in the final declaration are not significant in the summit meeting … and we will explain this as follows:
  1. As for Afghanistan, none of these three countries have any control in Afghanistan, instead the influential actor State there is America, for it dominants the Government of Afghanistan; therefore, mentioning Afghanistan in the declaration is of footnotes …!
  2. As for cross-border crime and human trafficking, these are not the priorities of common interest to the mentioned countries to hold a summit…
  3. As to the crisis in Syria, Russia and Iran need to coordinate with each other regarding Syria to avoid defeat. But the fact that Azerbaijan has no role in the Syrian crisis makes the summit not intended for this purpose. Specially that Azerbaijan is the one that called for the summit: “It is remarkable that this trilateral meeting held on Monday, is the first in this format proposed by the President of Azerbaijani during a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart last February.” (Source: i24news, in 08/08/2016). This means that the summit that Azerbaijan called for it will not be on the Syrian crisis, where there is no role of Azerbaijan in it.
  4. And as regards to the fight against terrorism, drugs and transit of arms and militants, especially between Azerbaijan and Russia, as a corridor for the Mujahideen to the Caucasus, as it was during the Chechen wars throughout the nineties of the twentieth century … Despite that Russia mentioned these at the summit, as reported by Russia Today on 08/08/2016: “President Vladimir Putin stressed during a trilateral meeting with his Iranian counterpart, President Hassan Rouhani, and President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, on the need for more efficient efforts to prevent the transit of militants, weapons, drugs through the territories of the three countries. President Putin also called on Monday 8th August, to step up information-sharing between the three countries on the activities of terrorist organizations”. Still, Russia can resolve such issues bilaterally with Azerbaijan without the need for a summit involving the Iranian president. For the issue of “transit of militants and weapons” is a Russian Azerbaijani problem, because the passage of “militants” is usually through Azerbaijan … As to the topic of drugs from Afghanistan through Iran and Azerbaijan, though having an impact, but is not a priority to these countries in the current circumstances to hold a summit …
Second: Thus, the former issues, though having an impact, are not a reason to hold a summit between the three countries… Therefore, the remaining issue is the economic issue, which is the main purpose for holding this summit, in particular the establishment of the economic corridor (North-South corridor). To illustrate this, we point out what came in the declaration regarding economic matters, as well as the reported remarks on the subject:
  1. It was stated in the final declaration “Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan will take measures on the development of transportation infrastructure, including the “North-South” international transportation corridor. The sides intend to support efforts to integrate regional transportation and communication opportunities aimed at creating an economically profitable and environmentally friendly transportation infrastructure… The parties intend to take effective steps for the development of transportation and communication infrastructure in order to improve the existing passenger and goods transportation capacity along with the “North-South” international transportation corridor …” It is also noted that Moscow, Tehran and Baku ‘intend to further contribute to the implementation of new projects on the connection of railways as a part of the development and improvement of the North-South international transportation corridor’s efficiency…’” (Russia Today, 09/08/2016)
  2. Iranian President Rouhani talked about the purpose of the conference by saying to “promote broad development prospects of these countries.” (Al-Alam TV site, 08/08/2016).
  3. Russian media reported on the most prominent goals of the conference. On 08/08/2016, Russian Sputnik Agency talked about major Russian Iranian project that will rival the Egyptian Suez Canal. The Russian agency reported, “The key topic on the agenda of the summit is to establish an international corridor linking North and South, this project will compete with the Egyptian Suez Canal, to some extent. The corridor will be 7,200 kilometers long and will link Northern Europe to India, and the Gulf States through Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan. Iranian Foreign Minister announced that this project serves the interests of the peoples of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia and the interests of the entire region, where the project is going to provide a cost and time-effective alternative to the maritime route across the Suez Canal.”
  4. As well as, Russia Today stated on 08/08/2016 that the Russian President reiterated before the summit that the trilateral cooperation between Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan will allow the implementation of a number of new projects in the Caspian region. Putin said, “We have a lot to talk about in this trilateral format.”
Thus, the main goal of this conference is the economic cooperation, in particular the North-South corridor, and it is given precedence over the economic projects on the Caspian Sea, because the rest of the countries along this sea were not invited to the Summit. Therefore, the discussion of this topic at the Summit was not for the actual implementation as much it was for future research, and this may be too farfetched, until an understanding with other coastal states of the sea is reached. Whereas, the corridor concerns the three countries, in particular that the Russian media highlighted it and that it will compete with the Suez Canal
Third: As for the US role, it actually exists, and some of it does not require deep thinking to understand, while other needs scrutiny and depth … The first category could be easily understood from the fact that these three countries differ in reality. Russia is an independent country and has its own regional and international policies. While Iran and Azerbaijan both follow US policy, and the foreign policies of such states cannot be separated from US policy. In other words, creating a corridor from North to South to the Gulf on the shores of Iran is not separate from the American policies. This is regarding the first category, which can be easily understood without deep thinking. The second category, which requires depth and contemplation, can be understood by taking into account the following matters:
  1. America noticed the difficult economic situation of Russia, so it ordered Azerbaijan and Iran to entice Russia with a huge economic project that exhausts the Russian economy. As is the American policy on the China side, preoccupying it with spending on massive projects such as the China’s economic corridor through Pakistan, the United States also wants to push Russia to spend on the new “North-South” corridor to strain its economy and force it to the debts of IMF and the World Bank, which America dominates them. And for all that it has ordered Iran and Azerbaijan to also spend on this project, the “Corridor”, to encourage Russia to proceed forward and engage in it.
  2. While America is intensifying its policies in the Far East to prevent China from becoming a prestigious global force, and is fomenting trouble spots around China, it certainly realizes that the most dangerous thing in the Russian orientation towards Asia is Russia heading towards China. And if the American policy is to isolate China from strengthening by other major countries, then it certainly realizes that Russia is the most serious of those countries on the issue of rapprochement with China. And in the context of distancing Russia from China, America entices Russia with such a “North-South” corridor. In particular, that this economic corridor that crosses Azerbaijan and Russia is a twin-like with the Indian-Iranian economic corridor, which connects India nautically to Iran at the Iranian Chabahar port, as well as linking Iran to Afghanistan by land. This means that the new “North-South” corridor crossing Russia is to give more vitality to Indian economic corridor via cross-linking it to Northern Europe. Thus Russia appears on the side of India, the traditional enemy of China in South Asia, and consequently it divides between them. On the other hand, the integration of Russia in this economic corridor with Iran and Azerbaijan, will certainly limit the integration of Russia with China’s plans in the economic corridors, such as the Silk Road corridor … Overall, America sees a worrying orientation of Russia towards China, accordingly it pushes its followers in Iran and Azerbaijan to entice Russia with joint projects with them so that Russia distances itself from China and China distances itself from it…….
Fourth: In conclusion:
  1. The purpose of the trilateral summit held in Baku on 08/08/2016 is an economic one and in particular the North-South corridor.
  2. There is a significant role for America in the summit via Azerbaijan and Iran to involve Russia in the North-South Corridor project, in order to exhaust the Russian economy during the current crisis and to push Russia to become preoccupied with projects towards the South-West of Russia to Azerbaijan and Iran, rather than the orientation to the South-East of Russia towards China and then gradually isolating Russia from China…

11th Dhul Qi’dah 1437 AH
14/8/2016 CE

Q&A: Zakat on Debts

Question:
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
I work in one of the Palestinian universities, and often work overtime but we do not receive the overtime pay, rather it is held by the university as a debt they owe, and perhaps the credit of one for us (workers) may far exceed the quorum (nisab) of Zakat (due to years of overtime). And this debt is not considered a dead debt, but is recoverable, however the timing for receiving it is not known. For example, I did not receive overtime payment for four years yet; I do not know when I will receive it. Is there Zakat for this money or not? And if there is Zakat, is it payable in a lump sum when received, or is it for every year?
Note: Many of the instructors are puzzled on this issue and seek a comprehensive answer…. May Allah reward you.
From Ma’an Alsarsoor

Answer:
Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
understand from your question that the entitlement for overtime pay is agreed with the university, that you deserve for this work a specific pay given to you upon completing the work, but if they do not give it to you at the time, it becomes debt on them … and it is not a “tip” or a bonus because you volunteered to do extra work, such that they give you what they want, a little or a lot, or not give you at all… If my understanding this is true, then the answer to your question is mentioned in the book of Funds in the Khilafah State (Al-Amwal fi Dowlat Al-Khilafah) in the following text:
(… Where a person is a creditor of a debt to a non-deferring rich person who is able to repay it at any time, it is obliged upon him to pay Zakat on that debt when a year passes over it. Ibn Obaid narrated from ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab who said: “When Sadaqah becomes due, count your debts and what you have as one whole then pay its Zakat.” Uthman b. Affan said: “Sadaqah is obliged upon the debt which you could collect from the debtor if you want, and that debt which is on someone who delays repayment and you leave it due to shyness or as a favour; in it is Sadaqah.” Narrated by Abu Obeid, who also narrated from Ibn ‘Umar said: “On each of your debts in which you expect repayment you must pay Zakat whenever the year passes over it.”
However, where the debt is owed by a poor person in hard circumstances, or a deferring rich person, it is not obliged upon the creditor to pay its Zakat until it has been repaid. After it has been repaid he gives all that was obliged upon him over the years. Regarding a doubtful debt i.e. one in which the creditor is not sure if it will be resolved or not. Ali said: “If he is honest let him pay the Zakat once it has been restored for the period.” Narrated by Abu Obeid, who also narrated from Ibn Abbas said regarding debts: “If you don’t expect to receive it, don’t pay its Zakat until you get it. When you receive it, pay all that is upon it.”.) End of what was mentioned in the book Funds in the Khilafah State.
Accordingly, your pay which is withheld by the university as a credit for you on them, the Zakat on this pay is not necessary to be paid now, but it must be given when you receive your pay from the university because you do not know when you will take it. That is, you cannot request it from the university and take it from them whenever you want. As long as this is the case, the Zakat on this money becomes obligatory on you when you receive the pay and by then, you pay Zakat for the past years as from the time your money reached the Nisab (quorum) and a year has passed over it. That is, it is obligatory to pay Zakat for all the years after the passing of a year from owning the Nisab, and not only to pay its Zakat for one year, but for all the years after the Nisab passed a year…
I ask Allah to bless you in your money, family and children.

Your brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
03rd Dhul Qi’dah 1437 AH
06/08/2016 CE

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Q&A: The Contrary Understanding (Mafhum al-Mukhalafah) of the Number

Question:
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
In the Mafhum – Mafhum al-Mukhalafah (contrary understanding) – on the subject of contrary understanding of the number that is acted upon to infer Hukm Shar’i, it was proved to apply on the following conditions: the condition of restriction by a specific number, and negating the rule before the stated number from what is beyond it such that the rational necessity (Lazim Dhihni) indicates it and it comes to the brain of a person. And the writer came with an example: the Hadith“إذا كنتم ثلاثة فأمرّوا أحدكم، أو واحد منكم”  “If you are three in a voyage, then appoint one of you over you as an Amir.”, and focused on the clarification to act upon Mafhum al-Mukhalafah of the number on number (one). Meaning that it is not allowed to have more than one. In the Noble Hadith of the Prophet: there is a mention of number (three), so is it acted upon? Or is it like the subsequent example, which is not acted upon and does not have Mafhoum al-Mukhalafah and does not come to mind what is less or more than it: (Give me the two Pounds that you owe me?) i.e the amount that you are indebted. This is considering the two is a group…
May Allah reward you best reward.
From Abu Loay


Answer:
Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
The question is on what is stated in the Islamic Personality Volume 3 when talking about Mafhum al-Mukhalafah under the Study of “Mafhum al‘adad (Implication of the stated number)”, there came the following:
“… But we should know here that Mafhum al-Mukhalafah of the number is only employed in one case, namely, whether the rule is restricted by a specified number, and it indicates proving that rule in the number and negating it in otherwise, or indicates negating the rule in the number and proving it in others, from the context of the speech, as is the case on the content of the speech (fahwa al-khitab) … So every rule restricted by a specified number, and its indication in proving that rule in the number and negating it in otherwise, or its indication in negating of the rule in the number and proving it in others, was taken from the context of the speech, so that the mind turns to it when hearing the word, then Mafhum al ‘adad in this case is acted upon. That’s such in the saying of the Prophet : «إِذَا كَانَ ثَلَاثَةٌ فِي سَفَرٍ فَلْيُؤَمِّرُوا أَحَدَهُمْ»  “If three people set off on a journey, they should appoint one of them as an Amir.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood). The rule here, appointing an Amir, was restricted by a number which is one, and the context of the speech indicates what is meant is appointing one and not two, so its understanding was that it is not allowed the leadership (imarah) of more than one. Thus the context of the speech has indicated that the rule is restricted by this number, hence the Mafhum al-Mukhalafah of the number was acted upon … but if the context does not indicate it, as if one said to the person who has a debt: (Give me the two Pounds that you owe me) then it does not have Mafhum al-Mukhalafah, since it was not meant by the two pounds to restrict the rule in number, but it is the generalization of the absolute number, for the debt he has may be hundreds of dinars. This means that Mafhum al-Mukhalafah of the number is only acted upon if it fulfills two conditions: firstly, the restriction of the rule by a number, and the second is that the context of the speech indicates negation of the for other than the stated number.”
You do realize that the word “one” mentioned in the above Hadith employs the Mafhum al-Mukhalafah of the number which means Mafhum al-Mukhalafah (contrary understanding), and you ask for the word “three” in the same Hadith if it employs contrary understanding (Mafhum al-Mukhalafah) of the number i.e. contrary understanding or not?
The answer to that is that the word three “Thalathah” in the Hadith:«إِذَا كَانَ ثَلَاثَةٌ فِي سَفَرٍ فَلْيُؤَمِّرُوا أَحَدَهُمْ»  “If three people set off on a journey, they should appoint one of them as an Amir.” Employed on it the contrary understanding of the number as it is also with the word “one of them”, because the word “three” is a restriction just like the word “one of them”, if travelers are less than three i.e. they were two then they are not obliged to appoint one of them as an Amir on the other, because Mafhum al-Mukhalafah is acted upon, so when travelers are less than three it is not obliged to appoint one of them as an Amir…
It cannot be said here: they should not appoint someone as their Amir if they are more than three in accordance with Mafhum al-Mukhalafah of the number, we cannot say that because more than three is included within Mafhum al-Muwafaqah by greater reason (bab uwla), that is drawing attention to the minimum for a greater or larger, so if the three are ordered to appoint one of them as their Amir, then a greater number than three must appoint someone as their Ameer by precedence… It is known that Mafhum al-Muwafaqah is the necessary meaning for the denotation of the word and is called the content of the speech (fahwa al-khitab) and the alert of the speech (tanbeeh al-khitab) and is meant the meaning of the speech, which is taken from the sentence structure, and it is an obligatory denotation where the mind moves to it when it hears the word, and if this rational requirement is found, than it is the one to be employed and not any other. Thus, acting upon the rule of appointing Amir for more than three is by Mafhum al-Muwafaqah and in this case it is not acted upon Mafhum al-Mukhalafah.
Thus, the rule of three appointing an Amir applies to those over three, and this is well known to the scholars of Fiqh and Usul…. It came in the book, Neil al-Awtaarwhen explaining the Ahadeeth of appointing Amir as follows: “And therein an evidence that it is prescribed for any number reaching three or more to appoint one Amir over them, because in doing so will be security from dispute which leads to discord. For in case of not appointing an Amir everyone will be despotic with his opinion and do what corresponds to his own whims so they perish. However, by appointing an Amir there is less difference and their ward is united. So if this is prescribed for three who are in an open space of the land or traveling then its legitimacy for a greater number living in villages and elsewhere and in need toeliminate unjust and resolve disputes is of more precedence and more worthiness. “
I hope that this is clear.

Your brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
7th Shawwal 1437 AH
12/07/2016 CE
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